Friday, 5 November 2010

No Redemption- remembering the miners' strike

I helped with an event last night which took place at the Working Class History Library in Salford. That's a very interesting venue if you haven't been there already. Just ring the doorbell and someone will let you in (during their opening hours). Currently has a special Michael Foot exhibition on.

Last night's event was to promote a book of photos taken during the Miners' Strike in 1984/5 in Easington (Co.Durham) by Keith Pattison. He thought it would be good if they could be published to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the strike, as many hadn't been seen before. His publisher suggested David Peace, author of GB 84, a novel about the strike, would be an appropriate person to write the introduction. David was keen to be involved and suggested a return trip to Easington on Election Day (May 2010) where they carried out interviews with people who had been directly involved in the strike.

The resulting book, No Redemption (Flambard Press 2010) is impressive, as was last night's presentation which included a short film and readings by David Peace along with actress Maxine Peake.

David spoke passionately about his motivations for writing GB 84, as well as for getting involved in No Redemption. Keith and David both seemed pleased that the publication of No Redemption was providing opportunities for remembering such a key period in our relatively recent past, at a time when communities and life as we know it seem once more to be politically threatened.

The annexe of the Library was packed for the event which had been sponsored and organised by Unison as part of their "In Touch with Roots" campaign. This campaign is remembering key campaigns in Trade Union history and fits well with our own library "Pages Ago " promotion. Frank Hunt, the regional secretary of Unison spoke with conviction about the continuing value of Trade Unions and singled out libraries as a service which must be fought for.

Sweetens bookshop from Bolton sold lots of copies of No Redemption as well as a range of titles by David Peace, and both signed copies and chatted for some time after the formal talking was done.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a brilliant event... I love David Peace